If you’re new to selling, or haven’t done so for a while, here’s our guide to how it all works.
Whether you’re completely settled on selling your property or are just mulling things over, call your local branch of Woods Estate Agents. We have offices in the Clevedon, Portishead, Westbury On Trym, Bradley Stoke and Yate (find your local office).
We’ll agree a time to visit and carry out a valuation of your property, whilst also bearing in mind the sum you have in mind for it and how quickly you’re looking to move. Our valuer will suggest what figure would be a realistic starting price for marketing, and will back this up with evidence of similar properties nearby which have been on the market.
you're in control
"It's entirely your decision whether or not you wish to proceed to offer your property for sale. We'll never pressurise you to market your property --if and when you sell is a big decision that only you can make."
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Preparing for marketing
Should you decide to put your property on the market, we’ll agree times with you for various tasks to be carried out, including:
- writing up the property details, and carrying out the photography of your property
- drawing up the Energy Performance Certificate, if you don’t have a valid one (legally required before marketing can begin)
- compiling the floorplan, allowing buyers to see the full layout, shape and flow of your property.
ADVICE: Good photographs are vital if we are to attract good interest in your property – so it is a good idea to make sure that your rooms are as clutter-free as possible! If you have any large items that you can live without, it’s often a good idea to put them in storage while you are selling.
Now is also a good time to warn your solicitor that you’re planning to sell your property, and to get together the paperwork that they ask for – this will save time when the legal processes really kick off.
Once we have combined all the text, photographs and floorplan into your property brochure, and once we have your approval on them, we’ll email all buyers on our sophisticated database who are looking for a property similar to yours. We’ll also telephone round all those we know to be really ‘keen’, and upload your property to our website and the many other sites on which we advertise (find out more).
Once your property is on the internet and has been mailed to the people on our books, there should be some interest in viewing it, and we will always call to agree convenient times with you. If there are any times that are better than others, please let us know and we’ll do our best to fit everyone in.
your choice of viewing arrangements
"Many sellers prefer not to be present for viewings to allow buyers to ‘see themselves’ living there, as well as to ensure the house is not too busy! If you would prefer this, please let us have a set of keys which we will of course keep securely."
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Kathryn Hunter MNAEA MARLA MAPIP, Manager, Westbury-on-Trym
We make sure that we accompany potential buyers on every viewing. This is for your security, and also so we can gauge buyers’ reactions face-to-face and provide you with accurate feedback.
After each a viewing, we will call the potential buyer to get their thoughts, and counter any objections they may have.
We’ll call you regularly to update you on progress and discuss any changes that we think might help your sale. We also have a sophisticated system enabling you to log-in to your secure page on this website to check progress and to view the feedback we’ve gathered from the people who’ve viewed the property.
Agreeing the sale
After a few weeks we usually receive offers from would-be buyers. We rarely recommend you take the first offer, and always push to get the most that we think will be possible. It’s worth remembering that as well as the financial offer, other things should be taken into account, such as:
- how well your and the buyers’ timescales match each other
- whether they are in a chain of other sales & purchases (the longer the chain, the less attractive the offer is).
Once an offer is agreed, we will contact your and the buyers’ solicitors to confirm each party’s details. However please note that the transaction is not legally binding on you or your buyers until you exchange contracts (see below).
If your solicitors don’t yet have all the documentation they need, you should aim to get it to them as quickly as possible to keep things moving. This will include:
- fixtures and fittings that are included/excluded in the sale
- the property title deeds, which are likely to be with the solicitor you used to buy the property
- any disputes, such as with a neighbour, that may relate to the property
- to define the exact boundaries of the property, and with whom responsibility lies for maintaining hedges and fences
- whether any additions or changes to the property have met local planning and building regulations
- that there is no right of way through the property
- details of rights of access that are shared with a neighbour, eg driveways
- whether the deeds specify certain things like painting the door certain colours or not keeping pets
- copies of guarantees or insurance policies, eg whether the property is covered by the NHBC guarantee or a wood-rot treatment guarantee
- services: whether the property's utilities (gas, water, electricity) reach it via a neighbour's property or are shared with a neighbour.
Your buyers, or their mortgage lender, will want to carry out a survey or homebuyer’s report. You don’t need to do anything special for this, and most surveys don’t involve any disruption of any kind.
If the property is a leasehold, your solicitor will ask for the name of the managing agent, the freeholder and a statement of account for the ground rent and services charges.
Keeping the sale on course
The conveyancing process is complex and can be frustrating. Much of the work goes on behind closed doors. Your Woods negotiator will regularly chase all parties in your chain to ensure that things happen on time.
choose a modern solicitor
"It’s important to have a solicitor who uses modern methods of communication to keep things moving at speed!"
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Mark de Souza MNAEA, Sales Manager, Bradley Stoke
Exchange of contracts
The ‘Exchange of Contracts’ is an exciting moment as this is when the sale becomes legally binding for both buyer and seller.
Exchange usually happens on the phone when both parties’ solicitors agree that they can ‘exchange contracts’, and they’ll then tell us and you when this happens.
The completion of your property sale is the moment your sale is finalised! Your solicitor will contact you and us when the buyer’s money has cleared and we will then release keys to the buyers. If any balance of monies is owed to you from your sale, your solicitor will transfer them into your bank account.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.